Ever since the late 1990s, Nic Hess (*1968 Switzerland, lives in Zürich) has been using industrial paint, collaged images and colored tapes, light projections and neon elements to take possession, both intellectually and in real terms, of walls and ceilings—and of entire rooms. The artist takes logos from the commercial world (deployed in symbolic excerpts and in an alienating manner) and icons from art history and political and economic phenomena, and uses his pictorial language, which drifts freely between abstraction, ornamentation and figuration, to compose a unified visual choreography. For this purpose Nic Hess adapts contemporary phenomena in the political, art-historical or economic context—never without a touch of humor or a critical subtext.
The exhibition at Haus Huth represents a further step in this direction: In collaboration with Renate Wiehager, Nic Hess stages an exhibition on Abstract art in the USA from 1950 to the present day with a cross-section of artworks: it begins with Josef Albers’ early years in America and the work of his students, and goes on to include the Los Angeles Abstract Classicists school and the Washington Color School to Minimal Art and Radical Painting, concluding with recent contemporary tendencies. Thereby Hess not only creates a drawing installation in a site-specific manner, which responds to the architecture of the Mercedes-Benz Contemporary space, but for the first time also reacts on contentual assumptions and curatorial specifications.